Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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football recruiting Dream Finish By Tom Loy T he Irish entered midDecember with 19 commitments and have room for six more recruits in the class. Notre Dame would love to land these six targets remaining on its board. DT Matt Elam 6-6, 350, Elizabethtown, Ky. (John Hardin) 247Sports Ranking: Five-star recruit, No. 1 player in Kentucky, No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation and No. 7 overall prospect in the land. The Skinny: Alabama, Kentucky and Notre Dame are the final three for the mammoth defensive tackle. He will announce his decision Jan. 4, 2014, at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The Irish coaching staff has made him a priority, and he continues to show great interest in playing in South Bend. DB John "JuJu" Smith 6-1, 200, Long Beach, Calif. (Poly) 247Sports Ranking: Five-star recruit, No. 2 player in California, No. 2 athlete in the country and No. 14 overall prospect in the nation. The Skinny: This recruitment is likely going to come down to two Daytona Beach (Fla.) Seabreeze product Charles Nelson, 247Sports' No. 35 athlete nationally and the No. 58 prospect in the Sunshine State, has a top three of Notre Dame, West Virginia and USC. photo courtesy 247sports schools — Notre Dame and USC. The standout defensive back took an official visit to South Bend in October and saw the Irish beat the Trojans. USC recently named Steve Sarkisian as its new head coach, but many don't believe that was a big enough name to keep Smith close to home. The Trojans are his childhood favorite, but Irish assistant coach Mike Denbrock has handled Smith's recruitment tremendously well and will be tough to beat down the stretch. WR Michiah Quick 6-0, 170, Fresno, Calif. (Central East) 247Sports Ranking: Four-star prospect, No. 6 player in California, No. 5 wide receiver in the country and No. 49 overall recruit in the nation. The Skinny: Notre Dame is in a head-to-head battle with Okla- homa for the West Coast standout. Quick has multiple ties to the Sooners, with a few of his former teammates signing with Oklahoma over the past few years, but he's also very close friends with current Irish targets John "JuJu" Smith and Tyler Luatua. The potential of all three signing with Notre Dame has caught Quick's eye. LB Nyles Morgan 6-2, 230, Crete, Ill. (Crete-Monee) 247Sports Ranking: Four-star prospect, No. 2 player in Illinois, No. 4 linebacker in the country and No. 56 overall recruit in the nation. The Skinny: Morgan continues to show great interest in Notre Dame, and this is very much a three-team race between the Irish, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. The four-star prospect knows that there is immediately playing time

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